There is something in the air at this time of year, and I’m not talking about the pollen. For one thing, I am reminded by strategically placed, temporary road signs that once again, our home turf is about to be invaded by hoards of revellers descending upon a field in Pilton for the Glastonbury music festival.
Thankfully, we live far enough away so that unless heading out on the A303 and out towards Stonehenge we won’t be affected by the horrendous traffic jams.
Having said that, I wouldn’t mind going if it wasn’t for the dreadful state of the loos, from what I’ve heard. Eldest son doesn’t let this stop him, he goes every year and has a great time.
This time of year also reminds me of boarding a plane at LAX with my children, making ready for our annual, long-haul flight out of California to England.
We waved goodbye to the sparkling sea and said hello through cotton-wool clouds to the patchwork landscape of my home.
This green and pleasant land announced its reminder of cooler temperatures, summer rain and a happy, family welcome for a few short weeks.
The reunions were joyous, my mum always waiting to meet us at Heathrow. Jet-lagged but excited, the prospect of spending time together stretched out before us like a picnic blanket loaded with delicious summer fare.
The two hour or so drive home to her house took us past Stonehenge which is clearly visible as it looms up from Salisbury Plain just off the A303, the main artery carrying summer traffic between London and the West Country. The sight of this magnificent landmark meant we were more than halfway there.
I remember as a girl the very first time I visited Stonehenge. In those days, we were allowed to walk right up to it. The cold touch of the ancient stones cannot fail to stir up the imagination and ask questions of the secrets buried deep within this mystical settlement of windswept Wiltshire.
Stonehenge is a place that we drive by often because of where we live, yet it never fails to fascinate and I am thrilled to have been able to share the experience of visiting it with my children over the years.
After one such summer visit to England, and safely returned to our life in California, my children started a new school year in the fall. When my middle boy, Nicky, started 6th grade (he would have been eleven), the class was asked what they did that summer. Everyone shared their stories of vacations and activities.
When it came to Nicky’s turn, he of course shared all about his time spent in England but it wasn’t until the teacher asked him about specific places he’d been to that he mentioned Stonehenge.
All the kids and the teacher were amazed, which he hadn’t expected. Upon being asked by the teacher if he had travelled far to visit it, he told them, “Not really, it’s just down the road from my Granny’s house!”
The teacher ended up asking Nicky to talk about his experience and used it for one of his lessons, his philosophy being that learning is every bit as vital outside the classroom as it is inside.
We certainly had our fair share of troubles, as a lot families do, but I will always be thankful that I was able to give my children the opportunity to travel and experience life in both America and England.
It wasn’t what I had in mind when I started my family but then life is full of wonderful surprises. Just like having a Granny who lives next door to Stonehenge!
June in Somerset also means taking an afternoon walk through the gardens of Barrington Court. Some of you may remember my post from early May. Spring flowers have given way to summer’s glory. I’ll show you the difference if you would like to take a short walk with me through the walled gardens:
Gone are the tulips. Now the place is teeming with gloriously scented roses:
Although the sun wasn’t shining much this particular afternoon, it was warm and sultry.
The catmint and lavender are blooming:
Reminders once more of The Secret Garden but this time the door in the wall is open, inviting us to walk through and see what is on the other side.
The ponds are teeming with life and beautiful Lilly pads:
Rambling roses scale the walls:
Vines, lush and full, climb along the walls and creep up and around windows.
But what has really come on are the veggie and herb gardens. They looked so sparse just a couple of months ago.
All that was missing was naughty Peter Rabbit. I did look for a little brass button hidden among the lettuces and carrots and I’m sure I caught a glimpse of a little blue coat…
Wouldn’t it be great to have a kitchen garden like this?
A noise like a hidden brook.
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Jo takes us on wonderful walks every Monday. I hope that she will enjoy this one through the gardens of Barrington Court. If you want to join in, do pay her visit, she will be delighted to take you along. Until then, have a great weekend everyone and I’ll catch up with you over the next day or so 🙂